Chp. 38: "Social Hierarchy?"
“So, your dad was completely okay with you two being together??” May asks as she, I, and Stormy walk through the mall together.
“Yeah! He was completely okay with it as long as I was happy,” I reply, shrugging.
“Lucky.” Stormy mumbles, envy in her eyes, “When my dad first met Joshy, he purposely spoke in Spanish, so Joshy didn’t know what to say...”
“Oh my god!!! I remember that!!” May laughs hysterically, “And this is why I love your dad, Stormy.”
After I woke up this morning, Storm and May both forced me out of bed. I didn’t feel like getting all fancy, so I just threw on Travis’s hoodie and some leggings. Plus, I braided my hand into two pigtails and headed out the door.
When I say it’s too early for this, it’s too early for this.
But I love my friends and it’s the weekend so why not?
“How did your dad react when you told him about Jamie?” I ask, look over at her.
She shrugs, “He was okay with it. It was my moms who both made a big deal out of it. They were all like, ‘invite him over!!!!’ And ‘OMG!!!’ It was hysterical. When they first met him, they asked all sorts of questions like, ‘does it bother you that we’re gay?’ Or ‘what’s your favorite part about politics?’ It was so embarrassing; I was sure Jam Jam was going to break up with me after that. But he stayed.”
She smiles dreamily, “Comes to find out, his family is also kind of weird. Just like mine.”
“Aw,” I reply, smiling at her, “Cute!!”
“Mega cute!” Stormy agrees, smiling, “Joshy’s family is weird, mine is just chaotic.”
“Felt that,” I reply, laughing, “It may be just me, Dad, and Daniel but we three together equal craziness. Dad’s constantly telling Daniel to stop cursing, and I’m trying to convince one of them into helping clean up the messy house. Plus, keeping secrets for Daniel’s sake so Dad doesn’t find out he snuck a girl in or multiple girls, and has some orgi or something. Then Dad finds a pair of panties somewhere, I have to claim that they’re mine, and throw them away because ew.”
May and Stormy both stare at me, surprised. I awkwardly smile, “There’s a lot more that happens in that house than you realize.”
“Sounds like it,” May laughs, and Stormy laughs too.
We all stop, and look around the area, seeing various people walking either with purpose or just casually strolling by.
“Who said that?” I whisper, raising a brow.
We all turn around and find Amelia, Jennifer, Pearl, and Victoria standing a few feet away from us. They all dressed in the same outfit, but with different colored tub tops.
“Ugh, it’s you,” May scoffs, crossing her arms. “And it’s May Clerc. For once, you’re wearing something other than black,” Amelia retorts, frown, flipping her brown hair.
“And for once, your outfit actually makes sense,” May states, and Amelia’s frown deepens, “Guess there’s a first time for everything, huh?”
They both silently glare at one another, May grinning and Amelia scowling.
I lean over and whisper to Stormy, “Amelia and May don’t like each other??” Stormy nods, and whispers back, “Yeah. She was bashing her mom for being a member of the LGBTQ community all over social media. Luckily, it didn’t trend, and her account was deleted for cyberbullying. After that, they just hated each other.”
I knew Amelia was a bitch, but not that much of a bitch.
“Anyway!!” Victoria chimes in, stepping in between May and Amelia, “We didn’t come over to start drama!”
She shoots Amelia a look, “Amelia.” Saying through clenched teeth, Victoria whispers harshly, “So quit your bitching and get back on the task.”
“Whatever,” Amelia grumbles, rolling her deep brown eyes. “Good,” Victoria says, flipping her long braids, her mahogany brown skin seeming extra glittery.
Way too much glitter...
“What do you want anyway?” I ask, putting my hands on my hips. Amelia looks me up and down, and says, sassily, “We heard about you and Travis becoming an item.”
“Yeah. The whole school knows,” I reply, nodding slowly, “Don’t tell me that you brought your overpriced asses over here just to start shit-”
“No,” Jennifer cuts in, annoyed. She shakes her black hair from her face and sighs, “We didn’t come here to start shit or anything like that.”
“We came over here to tell you that you’ve earned our respect,” Pearl states, texting on her phone.
“I’ve what??” I ask, confused. May and Stormy glance over at one another, confused as Amelia explains, “You’ve earned our respect for dating Travis Reel. Somehow, the biggest nobody is with the biggest somebody. According to the social hierarchy, the somebodies, AKA us, have to end all feuds with the nobody if they have any.”
What are they talking about???
“End feuds?” Stormy, May, and I ask in unison. “Yeah,” Amelia, Jennifer, Pearl, and Victoria say in unison.
“We will no longer mess with you or anyone you know as long as you’re dating Travis,” Jennifer explains, flipping her hair again, “That also means Daniel and I are done. He was fun for a little while, but I’m getting bored...”
Wow, I wonder how Daniel would feel if he knew that???
I, Stormy, and May continue to stare at them like they all have two heads. I push up my glasses, and shrug, “Okay...thanks...I guess...”
“Now, don’t think that this means we like you. ’Cause, it doesn’t.” Pearl says, looking up from her phone, narrowing her eyes at me, “We just respect you, that’s all.”
“And don’t think that we’re okay with you and Travis being together,” Victoria states, shooting me a dirty look, “We’re everything but okay with it.”
“And that sounds like a personal problem,” I reply, stuffing my hands into my hoodie pockets. Victoria’s glare deepens, and I simply fake smile at her, and ask, “Anyway, is that all you came over here for???”
“Pretty much,” Victoria sighs, playing with one of her braids, “There’s nothing else we want from you, so...”
“Yeah, that’s it...” Amelia says, agreeing with Victoria.
There’s a long pause, we just staring at one another awkwardly. May looks around, pulling at her jeans, and clearing her throat loudly. Stormy pretends to adjust her dress, and I just stare at them, rocking on my heels.
I wonder who’s going to make the first move...
“WELL!!!” Jennifer suddenly chirps, breaking the awkward silence between us. She claps her hands together, “We’re gonna go now, so...LATER!!”
With that, they all sashay past us, and we watch confused. They disappear into the crowd, leaving us all very confused. We look to one another and burst out into a fit of laughter.
“That was some weird shit...” May says, brows furrowed. “I know right,” Stormy agrees, shaking her head. “Weirdos...” I mumble, sighing.
I slam my car door shut, feeling furious. I stand in front of Tiffany’s house, trying to decide if I’m going to ask her or not.
Ask her why she’s dating Travis I mean...
It doesn’t make sense...
That guy is known for doing everything, and she knows that.
And yet, is completely okay with it.
Some rumors don’t lie...
I sigh, fiddling with the hem of my shirt. I take a deep breath and finally just walk up to the house. I step onto the porch and knock on the door.
“WHO GOES THERE?!?!” Daniel shouts from the other side. “It’s just me!!!” I shout, shoving my keys into my jogger pocket.
A few seconds pass, and Daniel finally opens the door, peeking his head breathing heavily, “Hey, Jack!!! Wassup homie?”
Only one person calls me that...
“Hey! Just figured I’d stop by since I was in the neighborhood,” I reply, shrugging, plastering on a fake smile. I peek around him and into the house, curiously, “Is anyone here with you??”
“Nope! Just me,” Daniel replies, speedily, nodding, “My Dad left out to run some errands, and Tiffany went with May and Stormy to the mall. Don’t ask me why they went out to the mall at 9 o’clock in the morning.”
So, Tiffany’s not even home...
“Oh, okay, cool,” I reply, trying not to seem disappointed, “Well, I figured I’d stop by, so...I’ll let you get back to doing whatever it was you were-”
Suddenly, I hear shuffling from behind the door, and Daniel becomes tense. I raise a brow of confusion, as he tries to remain completely un-phased by the sounds.
“Um...Daniel,” I say, slowly, “What’s, uh, what’s going on friend??”
“Hm? Oh!! The sounds? Yes, uh, those are just me!!” He replies, quickly, biting his bottom lip, “I, uh, just got of the shower!! And my feet ar-are kind of still wet, so it’s kind of hard for me to keep upright.”
“Isn’t your floor carpeted???”
Daniel opens his mouth to rebuttal but is interrupted by loud giggling, “Daniel~ Don’t keep me waiting~” We both go completely still, Daniel’s face becoming a light shade of red despite his brown skin.
We stare at one another for the longest time, I trying not to make this situation anymore painfully awkward.
“Oh, I-I-I see...” I reply, awkwardly, and Daniel simply stares at me, “I’ll just, uh...” I step back off the porch, “I’ll just...leave you...to it...”
I continue stepping back, and Daniel yelps, voice strained, “Okay!! See-see ya!!!”
“See-se-see ya later!!!”
I quickly turn around and back to my car. I pull open the car door and hop in. I close my car door, trying to shake the image out of my head of Daniel and whoever was in there with him.
That’s why he was only peeking his head out...
I shudder, “Gross...”
I plus my keys into the ignition and start the car.
I guess I know where I’m heading.
“Yeah, Stormy and May dragged me out of the house this morning, so,” I laugh, Travis also chuckling at the other end of the phone.
“Poor thing,” He replies, still laughing, “That explains why you sound so tired.”
“I do not.” I retort, watching May and Stormy try on dresses.
“Does this dress make my belly look bigger?” Stormy asks, walking out of the dressing room, tugging at her black dress.
“No, Stormy. You look hot!” May says looking at her outfit, tugging at her bright, yellow dress.
“I agree! Super cute!!” I reply, leaning against a clothes rack. “Aww! Thanks, besties!!” Stormy replies, grinning at us, as she checks herself out in the mirror.
“Sounds like you’re having fun,” Travis states, and I smile.
“I kind of am. Which is surprising. Usually, I’m kind of grumpy first thing in the morning.” I reply, and he chuckles.
“I bet you are.”
“Yeah...” I reply, my smile softening, “I miss you by the way.”
“I miss you too, Sweetness. Wanna go anywhere today?”
“I’d love that. I was thinking of going to the movies to watch the new Conjuring movie.”
“You like those movies?”
“LOVE. THEM. They’re so good!!! Daniel isn’t a major fan, and neither is Dad, but my mom and I would watch those movies all of the time together!! We’d get scared, sure, but it was great!”
He laughs softly, and I do too. “Well, I like that idea. We’ll go to the movies then. Do you know when it’s showing?”
“I think at 6:3o. You available?”
“Do you know me? I’m never busy.”
I giggle, “Oh yes. Almost forgot.”
“Tiffany!!! Come try on a dress we picked out for you!!” Stormy says, holding up a white dress.
I sigh, pushing up my glasses, “That’s my queue...” Travis laughs, saying, “You don’t sound too thrilled about that.”
“I’m not.” I reply, smirking, “I’ll call back, okay?”
“Alright. I love you.”
“I love you too.”
I hang up, grinning goofily, as I shove my phone into my pocket. I look up and find May and Stormy gawking at me, smirking.
“Ooo!! Tiffany just got off the phone with her boo-thang!!!~” Stormy coos, walking up to me and poking my shoulder.
I blush, and laughing, “Stormy, stop!”
“Mr. Right~” May also coos, walking over and poking my other shoulder. “Guys!!” I laugh, my blush deepening, as they continue to tease me, “Stop!! You’re making this weird!!!”
“Ooo! She’s blushing!!!~” Stormy chirps, grinning over at May. “Omg! She is!!!” May agrees, and I sigh.
Lord, my friends...
I love them...
Stormy and I continue laughing hysterically, leaning onto one another. Poor May accidentally snorted her coffee, and it came out of her nose.
Poor thing, she went flying to the bathroom.
Stormy and I tried to check up on her, but she simply said she was fine and was mad at us for laughing at her.
It was pretty funny, lol.
We’ve gone to this lovely cafe to grab some food, and drinks after shopping at several different stores. We have a lot of bags but somehow managed to squeeze them all into our booth.
Most of them are Stormy’s.
“Oh my god!!!” Stormy says, using a napkin to wipe the tears away, “That was too funny!!!”
“Seriously!!” I agree, using my sleeve to wipe the tears off my face, “You think we should check on her??”
“Yeah! Let’s go check again,” Stormy laughs, gaining some composure.
I turn around, as Stormy and I slide out of our booth. I stand up and find Jackson standing next to our booth.
“Jackson!” I reply as Stormy looks at him, confused, “Hey! What are you doing here?”
“Just here for coffee, like I assume you are too,” He replies, smiling. “Right!” I laugh, shrugging, “I guess I wasn’t expecting to see you at this exact coffee shop.”
“Hey, Tiff, Imma go check on May,” Stormy says, tapping my shoulder, her eyes glued on Jackson. I look over at her, “Oh, okay.”
She shuffles away backward, her eyes still fixated on Jackson, intensely. Suddenly, she trips over someone’s bag, gasping, but regains balance.
“Sorry about that,” she says to, grinning awkwardly at them. “Ooookay?” I mumble, confused, watching her walk away toward the bathroom, slowly, “Weird...”
I look back up at Jackson and ask, “Anyway! What’s up?”
“Oh, nothing. Like I said, just here for coffee,” He grins, his blue eyes genuine, “Also! Congrats about you and Travis!!”
“Thank you!” I reply, grinning dreamily at the thought of Travis. “I see he makes you happy,” Jackson says, his face becoming a little tense.
“Yeah...he does,” I agree, playing with the sleeves of Travis’s hoodie.
It smells just like him...
“I’m glad!!” Jackson chirps, nodding, his blonde hair falling in his face as he looks down at his boots, “I’m glad...to see you happy...”
My face softens, I noticing this look in his eyes.
I bite my lip, feeling awkward with everything that’s slowly unfolding. I take a deep breath and push up my glasses.
I look down at my feet and mumble, “Hey, listen, Travis had told me that...you had feelings for me and...what not...”
Jackson looks back up at me, brows furrowing. I continue, “I...was shocked to say the least, and I’ve thought about it.”
I look up at him, “I don’t want us to stop being friends because I’m in a relationship with someone else. I don’t, and I’m hoping maybe you feel the same way. I know you and Travis don’t get along.”
“But I still want us to continue being friends...” I state, firmly. There’s a long moment of silence after that, and Jackson’s face softens up like a puppy’s would.
He sighs, scratching the back of his head, “Of course, Tiffany. We can...continue being friends.” I smile up at him, feeling relieved, “Good, I’m glad.
What are these feelings???
Her smile makes my heart race...
And hearing her say my name makes me happy...
I smile at her, as she continues talking.
I can’t seem to focus...
Don’t tell me...
I’m falling in love with her??
Suddenly, her phone vibrates, and she pulls it out of her pocket. She instantly grins, blushing, and begins texting. I frown at that, feeling a huge sting of envy.
I know who that is...
Travis Fucking Reel.